There are so many for lack of a better term”hidden secrets” when it comes nutrition and it’s hard to know what to believe in. This why I want to talk about 6 of my favorite nutrition tips. They are my favorites because this how I live my life when it comes to food. I like to see myself as my own ”practise dummy”, if it works for me and I think it will benefit you as well, I will share that, if it doesn’t I won’t. Like I said these are 6 tips/rules that I hold myself to on a daily basis. Today let’s talk about the first 3.
6. drink enough water
It sounds so simple and it’s definitely not the first time you have heard someone say this to you, but what does ”enough” actually mean and why is it so important? About 60% of our body consists of water, that means a lot of processes within our body use water as a source or tool to get things done. A couple of examples are:
- Removing toxins and waste within the body- in the form of sweating and peeing
- Replenishing your water levels to make up for sweating and peeing (a virtuous circle)
- regulating body temperature
- It’s part of the process that turns food into energy
- makes digestion of food a lot easier and smoother
- it’s a key component in carrying oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and to the brain
- fighting of illness (constipation, kidney stones, urinary infection)
- Good for energy levels
- can take away food cravings
these are just some of the important aspects and results of drinking enough water. These are the reasons why we can’t survive without drinking water, if we don’t get enough water in, these vital processes within our body are not able to function. This is also why you feel tired when you’re dehydrated, your body is not able to get enough oxygen and nutrients to all of the body parts, muscles and organs that need it to function.
What is enough? that answer varies from person to person, but I recommend getting in 2 liters of water as a bare-minimum a day. No matter what your activity level looks like throughout the day, just to keep these automatic processes going. If you workout, sweat a lot, go to the sauna, work outside in the sun or live an active lifestyle I would highly recommend getting more water in. I personally drink up to 3-4 liters each day and I start as soon as I wake up. A good measurement for yourself is to look at your pee, you don’t want it to look like water (overhydration) and you don’t want it to be dark yellow (dehydration or too much sugar within your nutrition). Just keep water on you at all times, if you’re feeling thirsty you’re already too late and you should take some sips more often.
5. Don’t make any drastic changes
When you’re just starting off with your current diet/nutrition/lifestyle it’s important to make small sustainable changes rather than throwing everything overboard at once. Time and time again we see that this is not how you build habits that last, it’s just too hard for most bodies to adapt to such big changes all at once. Let’s take sugar for example, if you’ve read some of my previous blogs you know all about that blood sugar level rollercoaster ride that takes place within our body when we consume high carb foods. If you start to eliminate sugars it will take about 3 weeks for your body to adjust and stop craving those sugary foods you were eating before. This is the same concept with everything else, it takes time for your body to make adjustments and for a lot of people/bodies we can’t change everything at once. You’re going to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated because it’s hard, you’re right, it is hard. That’s why we want to make those small changes and let the body adapt, then change something else and then another, until you get where you want to be. Figure out what the most important thing about your nutrition is and start changing that for the better before anything else, that will give you a solid baseline.
*Example for losing weight: Start by eliminating the sugars and let your body adjust-give it about 1/2 weeks – continue to add more protein and fats to replace the carbohydrates and figure out how many calories you’re getting in each day – give that about 1/2 weeks – start bringing everything together, keep that going and make small changes along the way.
I am pretty happy with my nutrition right now, but I make small changes from time to time, depending on how I feel and different food combinations that I want to try. Changes are not just limited to cutting different foods out of your nutrition, you can also make those small changes depending on what you feel like eating, the time of year etc.. As long as the changes are sustainable for your lifestyle and have a positive impact on your nutrition and health, that’s what matters.
4. Take control and account for every meal
By taking full control of your nutrition you will account for everything during the day and the chances of unhealthy foods slipping through the cracks are very small. If we don’t take that ownership and control there will be moments throughout the day where we settle for the easy options, usually that equals the unhealthy foods (because it’s so easy and accessible). Noticing and acknowledging that this trap will always be there and preparing to avoid it is an important step when talking about taking full control of your nutrition. 2 sayings come to mind here: “control your food, don’t let the food control you” and ”Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”.
Taking control and accounting for your meals ”simply” means knowing how many meals you’re going to eat and at what times you’re going to be eating them throughout the day. Doing this on a regular/daily basis will get you into a routine when it comes to your nutrition, routines are a lot easier to take control of when we’re talking about out nutrition. Having that routine will make you plan out meals for the upcoming day without realizing that you’re doing it. By planning your meals out you will know what macro nutrients you get in for that day. You can probably see that it’s all a chain reaction that leads to a healthier lifestyle. Simply put it this way: Preparing and taking control of your nutrition reduces the chance of eating shitty foods.
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